The venerated and elegant ampersand has a really fun history involving primary school children.


The ampersand glyph comes from the ligature of the letters e and t. It spelled the word et, which means and in latin, and in French. The two letters morphed with time into the one we know today.

The word ampersand itself came from the combination of and per se. This happened because the & was actually considered the last letter of the alphabet. In school, young kids would say the alphabet, then end with:

x, y, z and per se and

pronounced and per say and. That last part eventually became the word ampersand. French esperluette may have a similar origin, et per lui et.